That being said, again, I really do understand how frustrating this is and I feel like a giant fucking asshole. So expect free stickers in all of your orders as well as a hand-written and heartfelt note from me, personally apologizing for being a worthless sack of fake hair and prescription lenses.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding that everything needed to make this process run smoothly exploded and if I had it my way, you would have gotten your shit weeks ago. I’m sorry. I hate me too. WAMP, WAMP. Now for today's post.
I’d like to think that I’m pretty open about what I’ll share with you fine people on this here rickety old blog. Whether it’s about my traumatic middle school experience, failing to interact with members of the opposite sex or being hospitalized with diarrhea—it’s all yours. That being said, there are two stories in my repertoire that I dislike telling: one, of course, is sorr about the bag (which paid for the computer that I’m currently using, soooo, thank god I got over that) and the second I’ve yet to share with you. That’s right. I’m holding out. I’m sorry; I’m not proud.
I think part of the reason I’m holding out on you is because it’s about a near-death experience that’s genuinely traumatic for me to relive. And because, you know, it kind of paints me as the fatest fat kid in the pie-eating contest. Which isn't anything new, but man; it's just really hard to have any personal dignity when your near-death experience involves spiced meats
Whereas I don’t like to tell The Story (capital T, capital S), you know who loves to tell it? Becca. My beloved sister jumps at the opportunity to gather pretty much anyone who’ll listen around the campfire, throw another log on, crack open a beer and tell The Story from start to finish in painful detail. And this includes the other night when she chose to share it with her fiance and future in-laws at dinner while I writhed around in my chair, softly muttering, “please…don’t” over and over again like we were in a Lifetime movie about date rape.
The summer is a particularly popular time for The Story because the majority of it revolves around eating steak at a cookout. That means that at every family cookout or dinner where steak or other various tough meats are consumed, The Story manages to get told no matter how much I protest. But you know what? I’ve had enough. No longer will I be a victim to the extreme embarrassment and tragedy that is The Story. No longer will I go out and tense up upon seeing steak on the menu. No longer will I bargain with god himself that maybe this will be the family BBQ where no one gets a twinkle in their eye and says, “Now Meg, [scoffs] make sure to chew.” I’m done. I’m telling the story right now and in doing so, I’m taking back the power. Today is my INDEPENDENCE DAY.
The year was 2005. I was a spry 20-years-old and had just finished my sophomore year in college. I was temping for the summer at a company in Rockville, which means that I spent 8 hours a day shooting emails with friends, playing online Family Feud and writing in my emo LiveJournal. (Which, sadly, is a lot like every job I’ve had since then. Minus the LiveJournal. Plus a locally recognized blog. MOVIN’ ON UP!!!!!1)
The day was June 29th. (Happy 5 year anniversary, baby.) It was my sister’s 25th birthday and much like her 30th, we decided to celebrate with a family BBQ at my parent’s house. Because I was living at home for the summer, I had helped my mom shop for dinner the day before and knew what the spread was going to be: grilled teriyaki shish kebob that had been marinating overnight, homemade potato salad, homemade corn salad, beer, wine, and berries and whipped cream for desert. I was fucking pumped. (This is where the fattest fat kid at the pie-eating contest comes into play.)
Knowing this feast was going down that night, I decided to “pre-game” all day at work for it. “But you were only 20, Meggles,” I hear you say. “How did you manage to buy alcohol to drink all day at work?” Well, the answer to that is simple: I didn’t “pre-game” in the traditional sense of the word; I starved myself all day in preparation for dinner. I wanted that first bite of shish kebob to magical, so I refused myself food all day to make it that much more sweet. That is how I pre-gamed.
When I got home from work that evening, I was starving, yes, but more so, I was ecstatic that my shish kebob fantasies were about to become a shish kebob reality. (Jesus…)
By the time gifts were opened and Becca had been adequately fawned over, we finally gathered around the table for dinner. My mouth watered as my dad brought in the shish kebab platter, fresh from the grill. I took a skewer and expertly seasoned it with salt and pepper, poured myself an ice-cold beer, put my napkin in my lap and turned my phone on silent—it was go time.
Now, these were dire times we living in, people. Remember, I hadn’t eaten all day (out of choice, true) and the delicious BBQ fumes wafting throughout the room were enough to make a vegan put down the hippie stick and pick up a turkey leg. There was no time for cutting meat. Cutting was a thing of the past. God gave me a knife. In fact, he gave me six knives—they’re called molars. So I put what others have called a “comically large” hunk of meat in my mouth and chewed. About three times. And then swallowed.
OH, I’M SORRY. I sense your judgement. Sorry I didn’t go to Ms. Pedigree’s Finishing School. I was raised in the streets of suburban Maryland where you starved yourself before delicious meals and swallowed hunks of meats whole to remind yourself that that’s piss and blood in your body. Judge not lest ye be judged.
Now, as I’ve mentioned many times on the blog, I have giant, freak show tonsils. You know when you get sick and your tonsils swell to the point where they touch? Well, that’s how I live every single day. Every medical professional I’ve seen from my pediatrician to my gynecologist has stressed how badly I need to get them out, but I refuse for four reasons:
1.) I’m a pussy.
2.) I can barely afford the box of three week old Kashi Heart-to-Heart I’m currently noshing on for dinner, how do you expect me to pay for a tonsillectomy?
3.) Health Insurance is for trust fund kids and the King of France.
4.) I’m just genuinely curious how long I can keep this up. And by “keep this up”, I obviously mean, “stay alive.”
So when I swallowed this metric ton of deliciously marinated meat whole, it just eeked it’s way past my tonsils where it stopped and set up shop for the night. That's when time stopped and everything happened in slow motion.
“Hm,” I thought to myself, “That doesn’t feel quite right. Better swallow some spit to work that meat down.” But swallowing wasn’t so much an option.
“Well, stay calm,” I thought. “Take a deep breath, you’re ok.” But much like swallowing, breathing wasn’t really an option as well. I looked around the table to see if anyone had caught on that I had half a T-Rex launched in my windpipe. Nobody had. “Good,” I thought. “Just take a giant swig of beer, it’ll be enough to work the meat down and you’ll be fine.” I reached for my beer, let it fill my mouth and unable to swallow any of it or breathe, dramatically spewed it across the table and all over my sister. People had now officially noticed that I had a T-Rex launched in my windpipe.
Embarrassed, I ran into the kitchen not quite sure what to do next. That’s when my mom, like John Rambo running through the fields of ‘Nam, bolted out of her seat, ran into the kitchen, threw me over the sink and Heimliched me stupid as I clawed at the counter, running out of air.
Diane, bless her heart, managed to Heimlich the meat up but it couldn’t get past the giant barrier that was, and still is my tonsils. Realizing that I had about 10 more seconds until I was going to pass out and, you know, potentially die, I barbarically reached my hand into my mouth, down my throat, parted my tonsils and physically grabbed the hunk of meat by it’s hind leg and pulled, just as my mom gave one final push around my torso. The meat went flying out of my mouth and into the sink as I crumbled to the floor, tears streaming down my face.
It was fucking terrifying.
But more than being terrifying, it was embarrassing. Because in that moment when I seriously thought that I was going to die, all I could of was this conversation:
Random Person From High School #1: Did you hear about Meghan McBlogger?!
Random Person From High School #2: Oh my god, no! What happened?
Random Person From High School #1: Oh, she got overly excited about grilled meats and died.
I mean, that would be the way I died. I think that’s why I really thought it was the end at the time—because it seemed like a particularly fitting death.
But Diane saved me so I could survive and hear this story told over and over again at family BBQs and steakhouses all over this great nation. But no more! I embrace The Story! I starved myself for a day, didn’t chew the giant hunk of meat I put into my mouth and almost died! THERE! BAHAHAHA. Let’s laugh, let go and let god.
You can all buy your 2birds1blog brand “Throat Choke” Steak Sauce in the merch store starting now.
External hardrive, here I come.